Next week is Collection Week at Operation Christmas Child. And that means that this Sunday is Collection Day at First Presbyterian Church of Milton! We have been collecting filled shoe boxes for several weeks now, and thanks to the generosity and warm hearts of our congregation, the collection keeps growing! We are so excited to be participating in this wonderful mission again this year! To know that our simple gifts can open the door for children all over the world to learn about the Good News of Jesus Christ is a humbling experience.
This Sunday we will have a special worship service that will include a time of prayer over the shoe boxes as we prepare to send them on their way. If you would like to donate filled shoe boxes or simply take part in the blessing service, make plans to join us for worship on Sunday, November 12, at 9:00 a.m. See you there!
"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up the other; but woe to one who is alone and falls and does not have another to help."
~ Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 NRSV
Oftentimes the number of tasks we need to complete in any given day can feel overwhelming. Our lives are chock-full of obligations to family, friends, jobs, and other things. Our to-do lists just keep growing - as we cross one thing off, we add three more! There seems to be no end in sight!
This is one of the beautiful things about being part of church family - when things need to get done, people are there to help! We recently held a work day at First Presbyterian and were blessed to have many of our members come out to help. We were able to go through our storage rooms and donate items to local organizations as well as complete the painting of our Open Hearts classroom. It was a very productive day, full of happiness, fun, and fellowship! Truly, working together is the way to make things happen!
We would like to thank the members of our church family for their willingness to help whenever needed! Together we can accomplish so much more than apart!
"Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old they will not turn from it."
~ Proverbs 22:6 NIV
The first day of school is full of new things - new classrooms, new teachers, new friends to meet. But one thing remains the same year after year - our children always need to know that they are loved and blessed. Our children always need to know that no matter what they encounter in the days ahead, they have a loving God looking out for them that they can turn to at any time.
During yesterday's morning worship service, Pastor Janice did a "Blessing of the Backpacks" to send our children back to school filled with God's blessings. It was a joyful time during our service full of the children's excitement about going back to school. As they head back to school today, we keep all children in our prayers that this is a good year for them.
God's Blessings to you all!
EDIT: Here are some more photos of the Blessing of the Backpacks!
Operation Christmas Child - what's it all about? Each year thousands of shoeboxes full of little gifts are gathered and distributed to children in need all around the world. Each of these shoeboxes provides an opportunity for local churches to share the Gospel with children so that they may receive the greatest gift of all - Salvation!
This year First Presbyterian Church of Milton is participating in Operation Christmas Child for the fourth year in a row. We are so excited to be a part of this important mission! As a small church, it is wonderful to be able to partner with others to extend the reach of God's Word!
August is a great time to purchase school supplies to go into your shoebox gifts, as they're all on sale! Pencils, paper, crayons, and more - children around the world need the same tools as children right here at home in order to attend school and learn. Unfortunately, they are often unable to attain these items on their own. So while the ultimate purpose of shoebox gifts is sharing the Gospel, the items inside can make a huge difference in their lives, as well.
I will be heading out today to purchase some school supplies to go into my shoebox gifts, and I hope you will, too! Happy Shopping!
"Be still and know that I am God! I am exalted among the nations, I am exalted in the earth." ~ Psalm 46:10 NRSV
"Be still" - it sounds like such a simple thing, doesn't it? But in today's fast-paced world, it can be much more difficult than we realize. When was the last time you were truly "still?"
I often I find myself over-scheduled, over-worked, and over-tired - as I'm sure many of you do, as well. I find it difficult to make time to "be still." When I do manage to be physically still, my mind runs a mile a minute with all the things I should get up and do! I sometimes wonder how I'm ever supposed to get my mind to be quiet! But I know that what my Lord wants me to do is make time to "be still" and be with him, to talk with him, and to listen for his voice. And I know that if I keep my eyes on Jesus, he will help me learn to do exactly that!
So that's my challenge for myself this week - and my challenge for you, too! Make time each day to "be still" and be with God. He has important things he wants to share with you - but you have to listen!
God's blessings to you!
This week's Small Group discussion was about the Passing of the Peace. If you have attended worship with us, then you know that this is not something we typically do every week; however, you never know what the future might bring!
Many of us have experienced the Passing of the Peace at one time or another during a worship service. Very often it just seems like a "social time" in the middle of the service, and in that context, it can feel like a disruption in the flow of worship. Most of the members of our group felt that way before our discussion - mainly because no one had ever taken the time to explain the meaning of this item in the Order of Worship.
The Passing of the Peace is more than just a greeting - it is a form of community-building. It is an opportunity to extend God's grace to one another in response to the grace that we all receive as members of the Body of Christ. As the Church of the Hills states in this blog post, "In giving signs of peace to each other...while focusing our complete attention on the person to whom the peace is extended, we express the reconciliation, unity, and love that are in Christ. The peace is a sign of the blessing and presence of God, a sharing of the peace that comes only from God." What a beautiful thing! So the next time you are given the opportunity to Pass the Peace, do so with intention, do so with love, and do so with an understanding of the great significance of this simple gesture.
The Peace of Christ be with you....
It's been awhile since our last issue of the Presby Press was published - time just flies when you're having fun! Check out our latest issue!
What a wonderful morning! Today Reverend Janice Fraser, Tammy Mendiola, and Michael Mendiola presented Sarah Ellis, founder and President of My Father's Arrows, with a $1,300 donation raised by this year's Holiday Faire. While there we had an opportunity to tour the new children's home they are renovating. What an amazing ministry they have created to support foster children and families! My Father's Arrows is truly a blessing to so many in our community, and we feel very blessed to be able to help!
As summer ends and a new season begins, our Adult Small Group has begun a new study on discipleship titled Believe. We are all very excited to explore the Bible more deeply and to discover what it truly means to "live like Christ". We would love to have you join us! We meet each Sunday Morning at 9:30 a.m. in fellowship hall. See you soon!